Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holidays Are A Time For Excess

Me and Nick Holmes 'backstage' at the late great 360 Club in Toronto, as featured in an early Wavelength zine.
Since the Abstract Index is on vacation for a couple of weeks, I thought I'd post up an old mixtape for your listening pleasure.
The cassette entitled 'Excess' is certainly that - Nick and I were never stingy with the EFX. This mixtape from March '93 or thereabouts is soaking in two different kinds of delay and features the kind of mixing I was into after I'd finished "I Got A Bag Of My Own", my Thursday night CIUT radio show which ran from late 1988-Jan 1993. As you can probably tell, the more things change...
Enjoy, and have happy holidays!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - December 17/08

This year end roundup format proved to be reasonably successful. I had a feeling that if I collected my most played discs of the year, they'd work pretty well with each other. Armed with so much great music, this show contained few pangs of "what to do next?". While I didn't get to spin everything I'd brought, I did play most of my favourites and it resulted in almost 50% Cancon, which is always a good thing round these parts.

Without further ado, these were the most played discs on the Abstract Index in 2008:

1) Dubmatix - Renegade Rocker (7 Arts)
2) Feuermusik - No contest (Standard Form)
3) Lagos Shake A Tony Allen Chop Up (Honest Jons)
4) Bio Ritmo - Bionico (Locutor)
5) Lal - Deportation (PTR)

Thanks for tuning in, downloading and otherwise supporting the show and CIUT.


dreadnought - feuermusik (standard form)
what kind of american are you? - andy haas (resonant)
love call - matana roberts (central control)
when were you in mexico - ryan driver (rat drifting)
hopeful - lal (ptr)
wooden cave loop - lucky dragons (marriage)
tekana - etran finatawa (riverboat)
hakimey - daniel nebiat (no label)
fuji ouija - tony allen rmx. by diplo (honest jons)
disco groove - the checkmates (strut)
trans europe express - christian prommer (sonar kollektief)
gridjam - lina allemano (lumo)
kaba a.m. - lubo alexandrov & kaba horo (ccm)
bionic boogaloo - bio ritmo (locutor)
ghost rock - nomo (ubiquity)
lonely - amp fiddler/sly and robbie (strut)
take it slow - boozoo bajou feat. joe dukie, u brown (best seven)
freedom and money - prince blanco (mojobrand)
istanbul - o'luge (last gang)
peace and love - dubmatix (7 arts)
chasing the papers - dub gabriel feat. jahdan (destroy all concepts)
son of man dub - rockers all stars (shanachie)

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - December 10/08

One of my favourite all time artists is Jorge Ben, so I was very pleased to cop the early Christmas present of "Tudo Ben", issued by the keepers of the Brazilian flame (London-style), Mr. Bongo. I get very excited when they delve into the past, such as their compilations on Joyce and their Brazilian Beats series which sequenced new and old tracks together.

Tudo Ben features a motherlode of 26 covers of Jorge Ben tunes, including some songs the master himself never got around to releasing. Can't tell the recording dates exactly, but the sound hits that late 60s-early 70s sweet spot of MPB meets funk again and again. Though some artists are duplicated, I'm not going to complain about Wilson Simonal being represented seven times. Every one of these selections expands Ben's samba soul in interesting directions: some rootsy, some psychedelic, and others just plain funky.

This comp is actually a good place to start for the novice Ben fan - though he doesn't appear on it, the breadth of his songwriting and the many influences he wove together at his peak are very well represented. But, as I've written before, Ben's hard to find classics are slowly becoming more widely available.


cantemos - willie colon/hector lavoe (fania)
fuutu toro - orchestra baobab (oriki)
nalekaki na nzela - de wayon (crammed)
cosa nostra - os mutreteiros grilados (mr. bongo)
with the wind - brother jack mcduff (cadet)
broken bossa - moonstar (ptr)
dfd - lowfish (noise factory)
roots and wire - deadbeat (wagon repair)
camote - nova lima (cumbancha)
that ain't too cool - johnny pate (mgm)
georgia's after hours - richard popcorn wylie (abc)
the way we live - raw soul express (compost)
or not - john geggie (ambiances magnetiques)
five heroes - hanggai (riverboat)
endangered species - galerie stratique (statik)
reluctance - debashish sinha (eema)
hokus pocus - walter murphy (emperor norton)
christmas a come - eek a mouse (greensleeves)
every day and every night - heptones (17 north parade)
sweat for you baby - tamlins (17 north parade)
good times in the dancehall - prince blanco (mojobrand)
black i am - fe me time allstars (pressure sounds)
the way it is/version - ricky storm (pressure sounds)

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Penultimate Pre-Holiday Programming

Every year I'm required to make a pile of top ten lists and all of them feel incomplete.

As far as radio goes, top ten lists make for very disjointed programming, so I've come up with (I think) my best solution yet. I'm going to go against the grain of campus radio and do a 'greatest hits of '08' show.

My most played discs of the year are going to get one last curtain call, no hierarchy required.

Typically, my faves for radio play are stylistically versatile discs that sound good in a number of contexts. They may or may not match up to my favourite album-length statements of the year, but genre and origin are meaningless in this concept. Well, not quite: thanks to CanCon regulations on all radio stations, I expect many of my most played discs will be Canadian.

Now the work begins of going through almost 50 playlists to determine who the 'winners' are. Tune in next week and find out. Tune in this week too, for the last freeform, all-music show of the year. Expect holiday music, but good stuff.

As always, thanks for listening.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - December 3/08

There's always room for some hard hitting soul jazz on this show.

Wolfgang Thoma BRINGS IT kinda Mod style on this week's choice cut, confirmed by three phonecalls of "what're you playing, dude?". You can find it at 17:15 into the second hour's podcast. Keep this tune near you at all times - if it's cold and dark you may as well stay at home and cook.

Bravo, Sonorama for the best collection I've heard yet of German stock music/jazz producer Hans Wewerka. All these tunes are unreleased, though I guess that's just a matter of perspective when you're dealing with library music. Wewerka has produced some 1500 albums, so should he want to make his collection available, there would be a wealth of material to choose from.


chocolate mess - harold land (mainstream)
by many names - fred anderson (delmark)
variation d'apollon - the bad plus (heads up)
over the fence a junkyard - tin (no label)
cascade - quinsin nachoff/bruno tocanne project (adami)
easturn - jun miyake (do right)
africa lando - nova lima (cumbancha)
v - combustion lente (bubble one)
grounation - deadbeat (wagon repair)
saturn - lal rmx by alistair johnson (ptr)
afro spot - lightning head (lion head)
explosion - dusty (jazz and milk)
hard work - wolfgang thoma (sonorama)
bam bam - huelepega soundsystem (inyrdisk)
djama - amadou & mariam (because)
heavy sound - big bass theory feat dizzy moore (sirbassa)
high times - tribesman assault (wackies)
mother liza - fe me time allstars (pressure sounds)
jah light - judah eskendar tafari (soul jazz)
golden locks/dub - bim sherman (pressure sounds)


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Abstract Index Playlist - November 26/08

A very dark and stormy indeed this past week. It doesn't get much stormier than the new album by Women In Tragedy.

I'm no expert on the ins and outs of the CDR dominated world of noise (that said, keep your eyes glassy and peeled for Huelepega Sound System's debut on Inyrdisk in January!!) Fortunately, I've always had some bro's in T.O. who have been able to steer me in the right direction.

I may have met Mr. Tragedy himself, Bob McCully, before. I honestly can't remember, all of Toronto's noise scene is hazy at best for me... But my interest in the noisy side of improv and electronics has been rekindled this year thanks to certain discs that have trampled the boundaries in inspiring ways.

Women In Tragedy's disc is a somewhat composed effort. You might even call it proggy, but those extraordinarily harsh and not necessarily linear rhythms definitely keep any notions of grand, soaring epics in check. There are distinct sections to each piece, but fortunately none of these four songs builds up and breaks down in quite the same way. The guitar 'riffage' is strangely rocking but it's not the lead instrument of torture in "Far/Far" - it's the overall buzzing produced by the guitars, keys and the shuddering, droopy drums. The droning minimalism at the heart of the song is actually quite beautiful and listenable, even as the rest of the audio energy of the track is an ear candling you won't forget.

BTW, if you're in Toronto, go see WIT along with DOOM TICKLER, GRAVITONS and ALMOST BLUE SUNSHINE @ Smiling Buddha, on December 7 , 9 pm, $5

Shout out to Tad Michalak, promoter extraordinaire, who has tipped me to so much great music this year.

glisten - ARC (a silent place)
instead - von magnet (jarring effects)
far/far - women in tragedy (gf noise)
earthship - geordie haley (no label)
figase - gultskra artikler (other electricities)
morning has broken - burnt friedmann/jaki liebezeit (nonplace)
calomel - plan 29 (unschooled)
gbehee (a new path) - kakatsitsi, master drummers from ghana & greg hunter (interchill)
cade tereza - originais do samba (mr. bongo)
krai dunasko - boom pam (essay)
the 7th seven - amsterdam klezmer band (essay)
fa fa 2 - joe haider (wewerka/sonorama)
rebel reggae - organs (musical ambassador)
creation - ljx (no label)
vain imagining - winston mcanuff (makafresh)
rise up - sly and robbie (burning sounds)
love and hate/version - dennis brown & i roy (heartbeat)
prisoner of dub - sub oslo (select cuts)

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